Changes to the frangible pin rule spark opposition

  • A meeting has been called by the FEI after a protest by the International Event Riders Association (ERA Int) against changes to the frangible pin rule.

    In the FEI’s 2015 eventing rule clarifications it states that 21 penalties will be given automatically to any competitor breaking a frangible obstacle or device unless “clear mechanical failure has produced an unexpected activation of the mechanism”.

    “The need to clarify this rule has been raised by athletes and officials to ensure its consistent interpretation and application,” an FEI spokesman said.

    However, ERA international is “openly opposed to the revision”, which it claims “effectively removes the ground jury of an FEI event from the decision making process”.

    “This is a complex issue and while we respect the intention of the FEI to have rapid and clear decisions made at the event, we are highly concerned with the implications of this rule change,” a letter from ERA president Bruce Haskell to riders read.

    ERA Int has been invited to attend a meeting with the FEI eventing committee to discuss the worries in London next week (10 March).

    In its letter ERA Int has set out eight reasons why the organisation is against the change, which it argues will “impact every level” of the sport.

    One of ERA’s primary concerns is that the rule change could make the sport less safe.

    “Many top cross-country course designers have already commented ‘off record’ that they are less likely to use ‘deformable devices’,” the letter states.

    “Designers have said they will now consider using fewer devices based on the possible effect a breakage has on the outcome of a competition.

    “This change in the way designers view device use could seriously change the safety in our sport.”

    ERA is proposing that 25 penalties for dangerous riding should be integrated into decisions about pins rather than punishing every pin break.

    “We ask all of you to list your support for ERA Int by demonstrating your resistance to this rule change. We need to have the voice of our collective numbers heard regardless of level, nationality, age or experience,” the statement adds.

    For more information about how to give your opinion visit: www.eventingriders.com

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